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Homelessness and injury

On any given night in Western Australia, approximately 9,000 people are homeless.

With family and domestic violence being the number one reason that people seek homelessness assistance in WA and 1 in 6 people who present to Royal Perth Hospital’s Homelessness Team having a primary diagnosis of injury, injury is both a driver of homelessness and a consequence of homelessness.

There are several individual and structural determinants of homelessness that can contribute to a person who is homeless being at an increased risk of injury, including; trauma, mental health conditions, poverty, violence, substance misuse, educational disadvantage, social disconnection, and an unsafe sleeping environment.  

To reduce the prevalence of homelessness in WA and therefore the prevalence of injury, we need to change what is not visible such as structures, policies, and individual beliefs.

The five core strategies outlined in “The Western Australian Strategy to End Homelessness” are;

  1. Housing – ensure adequate and affordable housing
  2. Prevention – focus on prevention and early intervention
  3. A strong and coordinated response
  4. Data, research and targets
  5. Building community capacity

View the recording of our “Homelessness and Injury” webinar with John Berger, Chair of the WA Alliance to End Homelessness, and Associate Professor Lisa Wood, The University of Western Australia, for more information about the impact of injury on individuals who are homeless.